“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
The debate around academies still continues. The shape of academies has changed over the years and while there are many schools who have converted there are still more that have not.
Before today, I had many more reservations against becoming an academy than for. Many schools have made the rush to become an academy before really thinking through the process of gauging how it would impact and affect their school. I do not know the statistics, but can only assume this has been at least part of the case where academies have not done well or have had bad press. Before rushing into any decision, no matter what there is on offer, everyone must stop and consider the outcome of making that decision on their school.
Again, it is not about generalising results from other instances of successful academy conversions, it is about thoroughly thinking about the benefits and pitfalls for your own context. A decision like this needs to be analysed by all stakeholders to have a thorough and well-rounded approach.
After hearing about some already established academies and the various structures and organisation of them, I am beginning to understand how this change can begin to positively impact the current educational climate.
The biggest benefit, from my perspective, is the focus on partnership and the enhanced accountability of all the schools involved, to produce consistently good results and maintain excellent progress. Accountability could be the major factor in ensuring that all schools move towards being judged as good or outstanding. The key message was that schools who were partnered in an academy together either stood “strong together or fell together,” as the saying goes.
I came away today understanding the real premise of what academies should be and what they could look like. I can now see what the benefits could be, which is much further along the road than when I started first thing this morning.
The next step is to fully consider what the impact of being an academy for our school would be. I am positive about the fact that we would retain our individual characteristics and not have to merge into becoming a different school underpinned by someone else’s set values and core vision. We can still be us. This is important.
So, it is now something to consider. The debate is back on the table – it never really left the table in the first place – it has always been lurking.
It would be interesting to hear what other people think about this issue. What have you seen working well, or not working well?